6 Open Study/Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodFebruary Start
Grant Length6-10 Months
Fulbright Graduate Degree Grants
The Fulbright New Zealand U.S. Open Study/Research Awards are for U.S. students to undertake postgraduate study or research at New Zealand institutions. Grantees are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and ambassadorial qualities.
Grantees arrive in New Zealand in late January/early February 2025 and must participate in the orientation program offered by the Fulbright Commission prior to the beginning of the New Zealand academic year. Grantees must also participate fully in the June report-back event, the end-of-year Thanksgiving event, and must provide to the Fulbright Commission copies of any articles, research papers, or theses completed while in New Zealand.
Stipend are provided for grantees for up to 44 weeks, which covers the period of one academic year.
Grantees must participate in the orientation program offered by the Fulbright Commission. This orientation provides an introduction to New Zealand society, culture, politics, and history, and offers useful information on the academic environment and the Fulbright program.
Applicants may wish to either: a) enroll in a graduate degree program at a New Zealand university; b) carry out research towards a U.S. graduate degree; or, c) carry out an independent study/research project while being affiliated with a New Zealand higher education or research institution. Applicants currently pursuing U.S. doctoral degrees must indicate in their applications how their intended research in New Zealand will contribute to their doctoral programs. Applicants must clearly articulate their future plans, and express a compelling reason for coming to New Zealand for their research, as opposed to any other country. Applicants must clearly specify the wider impact of their project, and how it will enhance the relationship between the two countries.
While applicants proposing independent study/research will be considered, preference will be given to those proposing graduate degree enrollment or research toward a US PhD.
Due to the hands-off nature of independent research in New Zealand, undergraduate/recent graduates proposing independent research must have the academic maturity, rigor, and depth of knowledge to work independently without close guidance from their supervisor. They must be 18 by the start of their grant, and exhibit a high level of subject knowledge and personal/academic initiative. Applicants must also articulate a clear plan and outcome for their research. It is still important that grantees have strong support from their host institution and supervisor.
Preference for Fulbright graduate awards is given to candidates who have not previously had extensive recent experience in New Zealand (ie. have not studied, taught, researched or worked in New Zealand for a period aggregating more than nine months/one academic year during the past five years).
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
*Applicants considering Māori, indigenous, or culturally-specific projects may benefit from some beginner Te Reo Māori language study prior to arrival. This is not a requirement but would be an added advantage.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter required for independent study or research at deadline
Letter required at deadline
All applicants must be affiliated with an accredited higher education or research institution in New Zealand. Applicants are expected to find their own affiliations and must include affiliation letters in their Fulbright applications. The Fulbright Commission helps awarded grantees confirm the terms and conditions of the affiliation only after they are selected.
Tuition for grantees enrolling at New Zealand universities is paid up to a capped amount by the Fulbright Commission in New Zealand during the period of the grant. Please see Fulbright New Zealand's website for further details.
For grantees doing independent study/research projects, the Fulbright Commission may still need to pay tuition fees to the host institute to ensure access to facilities. Grantees who are taking up a research grant and whose host institution does not require any tuition fees or laboratory costs will not be paid out unused tuition funds toward independent research goals.
Housing arrangements are the responsibility of the grantee.
Field of Study Considerations
Māori are the tangata whenua of New Zealand. As a Treaty partner and a priority population, it is critical that candidates proposing research involving or relevant to Māori demonstrate cultural sensitivity in their application, propose a project that is respectful of Tikanga Māori, and preference amongst proposals on this subject may be given to candidates with experience developing projects in similar contexts.
Such candidates must be familiar with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Candidates proposing a project related to Māori must discuss with their proposed host institution the relevant policies and procedures in place related to consultations with Māori. Both items should be addressed within the Fulbright application.
Fulbright New Zealand specifically requests that under no circumstances applicants reach out to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga about project ideas, without first having spoken to Fulbright New Zealand about the appropriateness of the project.